Uddhav faction moves SC, challenges LS Speaker decision on Sena leader

NEW DELHI: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiva Sena faction has filed another petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to recognise Rahul Shewale as the floor leader in the Lower House of the Parliament.
The fresh plea challenged the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker to recognise Shewale as Shiv Sena‘s floor leader at the instance of the Shinde faction.
The Uddhav group terms the action of the speaker as “illegal” and “arbitrary” alleging that the Shiv Sena leader and its chief whip in the Lok Sabha were removed unilaterally.
“The Speaker made the impugned changes to the positions of the leader and the chief whip without adhering to basic rules of natural justice or even calling for an explanation from the Shiv Sena political party or the petitioners herein, despite categorical requests in this regard having been communicated to him,” the plea submitted.
The plea said names of Vinayak Raut and Rajan Vichare as the Leader and the Chief Whip of the Shiv Sena in the Lok Sabha respectively were reiterated and communicated to Birla, it said.
However, the Speaker approved the names proposed by the Shinde faction, it said.
“As such, the actions of the respondent No.1 being palpably and manifestly arbitrary and in outright violation of the scheme envisaged under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, is in the teeth of Article 14 thereof,” it submitted.
Shinde, with 12 of the 19 Lok Sabha members from Shiv Sena by his side, had named Shewale as the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha and Bhawana Gawale as the chief whip.
Earlier, Vinayak Bhaurao Raut and Rajan Vichare were the leader of the party and chief whip of the Shiv Sena in the Lok Sabha.
On July 26, the top court had agreed to hear on August 1 another fresh plea by the Thackeray faction against Election Commission proceedings on a petition by the Shinde-led group for recognition as the real Shiv Sena.
Earlier, the Uddhav-led Shiv Sena faction also moved the apex court to stall proceedings before the Election Commission initiated by the Eknath Shinde-led Sena faction seeking validation of their group as the “real” Shiv Sena to wrest control of the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli will hear the plea on August 1.
Thackeray-faction’s general secretary Subhash Desai in an application requested the SC to make EC a party in the six pending cross-petitions filed by the two Sena groups involving issues relating to disqualification of MLAs from both sides, challenge to the governor’s decision to invite Shinde-BJP alliance to form government, and the ordering of floor test.
Desai’s application said that when the SC has orally asked the Speaker not to proceed with any of the disqualification petitions, the EC’s decision to go ahead with the Shinde-led faction’s petition for determination of the “real” Sena struck at the root of the constitutional process, dependent on the determination of the crucial question — whether the rebel MLAs stood disqualified on June 21 for defying party whip.

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